What is the peace of God that passes all understanding?




How would you describe the peace that passes all understanding according to scripture?

The first way I would describe it, is to acknowledge that it “transcends all understanding”. If it could be explained in a way you could understand, it wouldn’t be the kind of peace that “transcends all understanding”. This is a peace that exceeds our ability to comprehend or understand, or therefore adequately explain.

Secondly, I would describe it as “oneness” (εἰρήνη eirēnē). Specifically, it’s the kind of peace that cures and stands in contrast to “anxiety” (Philippians 4:6–7). “Anxiety” (μεριμνάω merimnaō), comes from roots that mean “part” (μερίζω merizo mer-id’-zo), or “pieces”. It refers to a mind that is cut up into little pieces, and pulled in many directions by distraction (μέριμνα merimna mer’-im-nah), cares or worries. When Mary and Martha were entertaining Jesus, Mary sat at His feet, enjoying unity and peace of mind at the feet of Jesus, while Martha was worried, distracted, and suffering from a divided, anxious mind, by many concerns:
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed--or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42)
“Peace” (ἰρήνη eirēnē), in the context of Philippians 4:6–7, refers to that which makes one again, a divided, distracted, peace-less mind. It’s also used in this sense, in Acts 7:26:
And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again (ἰρήνη, eirēnē), saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?(Act 7:26).
The NIV translates this “reconcile”. It means to bring back together, something that was previously divided by war, conflict, or (in the case of Philippians 4:6–7), worry and anxiety.

Thirdly, I would describe this oneness of mind as a result of prayer. We’re told this peace of mind comes as a result of making our prayers, requests, and thanksgiving known to God. 1 Peter 5:7 says to cast all your cares (μεριμνάω merimnaō) on the Lord, because He cares for you. When you cast your anxieties on the Lord in grateful prayer, you get your distracted, divided mind united again, in “peace”. In praying, you choose that portion which is most needful, sit at the feet of Jesus, and stop worrying about things, because you trust Him to resolve your concerns.

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